Architecture for Africa [Aᵌ]
Appropriate Architecture for Africa [Aᵌ]
Appropriate Architecture for Africa [Aᵌ] aims to promote the idea that the architectural profession has the potential to offer both technical and social expertise towards the achievement of sustainable, human(e), equitable, beautiful and functional buildings, neighbourhoods and cities.
A think-tank was initiated in collaboration with the Industrial Design, Department of Mechanical Engineering. The result is the TUT|Tharabololo conversations, aiming to promote design for social innovation, generating useful design knowledge and creating meaningful social changes through design research, teaching and practice. We aim to establish long term partnerships with proximate communities and to gear our teaching programmes towards design problems that address the socio-economic conditions of the contexts we practice in, while also being aligned with global approaches in social innovation. We are partnering nationally and internationally to achieve these aims. The collaborative projects include an Italy/South African Joint Research Programme 2018: A social and spatial investigation at the Moxomatsi village, Mpumalangy (SSIMM) as well as the Bertrams Community Project with the Housing and Urban Environments Research field (H_UE), the Centre for Applied Research and Innovation in the Built Environment, CARINBE (both located at the University of Johannesburg) as well as other partners.
In addition to this important initiative, the niche area includes several projects and research focus areas led by a number of people at the Department of Architecture. A brief overview is presented below:
1. THE URBAN [LAB]ORATORY believes all people, above all other considerations, are at the centre of architectural and urban design principles. The UrbanLab seeks to interrogate the way in which we think about urbanism in our city, country and other cities of the Global South.
2. DESIGN-BY-MAKING, enabling micro-infrastructures presents architecture as a social act, based on social agreements, serving the needs of ‘the individual’ as well as ‘the collective’, and helping to manage the relationship between them. The project provides documentation, design and/or building services with the intention of achieving education, empowerment and improved negotiating power for all participants.
3. ENVIRONMENTAL POTENTIAL, TECHNOLOGY AND THE “THINKING HAND” has two on-going projects: Project A: Preparing the South African Built Environment for Climate Change Resilience (SABER) and Project B: Green building workshops. These are partially funded by the Newton Fund in the UK.
4. OPEN BUILDING, Design for Disentanglement, Assembly, Disassembly is a studio-based investigation as well as a national and global partnership. It intends to encourage more involvement from Africa by bringing diverse voices into the Open Building conversation and establishing a presence in the global south. Open Building aims to demonstrate how to harness alternative and innovative concepts as tools towards transforming space and built environment production systems in Africa. We are participating as part of the scientific/organisational committee for the International Conference on Open Building for Resilient Cities to be held in Los Angeles in December 2018.
5. The creation of PUBLIC SPACES FOR AFRICAN MIGRANTS and people of diverse ethnicity in the Pretoria CBD, and implications for urban planning, is a phenomenological investigation which considers the implications of the historic developmental background of the Pretoria CBD for current new residents consisting mainly of African migrants.
In addition to these established projects, the niche area is also embarking on other topics of research presented briefly:
1. MODERNIST RUINS: the image of time in architecture over 100 years.
2. IMPROVING THE SUCCESS RATE OF STUDENTS OF ARCHITECTURE.
3. EFFECTS OF INDUSTRIALISATION AND REGULATIONS ON SOCIAL HOUSING: Application of the regulation SANS 10400:XA to low cost housing
4. INTERSECTION OF NEUROPHENOMENOLOGY IN ARCHITECTURAL CONSTRUCTION EDUCATION.
5. ROTATING SAVING SCHEMES AND HOUSING FINANCE.
Aᵌ reinforces the concept of architecture is a social act manifested in built form and space responding to social agreements and serving the needs of all segments of society. Aᵌ believes that good urban environments and cities benefit both the rich and the poor, and spatial, technical, economic, procurement and management systems must therefore aim towards achieving equity, choice and access to opportunity. Aᵌ strives to work with diverse teams of built environment professionals. Our teaching and research programmes have both discipline-specific skills and knowledge while also encouraging participants to work beyond strict disciplinary boundaries and interact with, and be inspired by, content from other disciplines. This is in the belief that innovation exists at the interface between disciplines rather than within the confines of a specific discipline. We are building institutional, national and international collaborations in order to achieve these aims.
PRODUCTS OR SERVICES
1. Design and research services that focus on different scales and levels of the built environment, from the city level to neighbourhood, block and building level.
2. Community service and community engagement projects.
3. Research on housing, urban policy, sustainability and green building.
4. Workshops on green building.
5. Innovative prototyping.
CONTACT DETAILS OF NICHE AREA LEADER
Professor A Osman
Telephone: +2712 382 5719